Cinderella for All!

glass pumpkins

Everyone may know the French version of Cinderella, featuring the fairy godmother and glass slipper, the best, but more often these tales emphasize a different aspect of the story. Some focus on Cinderella's kindness to animals and to her stepsisters, others on Cinderella's incredible ability to survive. Some are perfect for the youngest readers and […]

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The Joy of Music Instruction

clarinet and trumpet with sheet music

The school year started off with a bang in my house—or should I say a high-pitched SQUEAK! It seems that many schools think the fourth grade is an excellent year to teach kids to play an instrument. Not only did my son get introduced to band instruments during the first few weeks of school, but only two […]

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Crafty Kids Found Here!


The weather is getting warmer, the kids are getting restless, and you still can't spend the whole day outside! Try these fun indoor activities to keep the family busy, get creative and messy, and fend off the winter blues. The Big Book of Things to Make has 100 projects to choose from. Divided into three categories (Make […]

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Happy Birthday, Pluto!

Pluto the dog

Pluto the big, goofy dog, of Disney fame, is how old? You guessed right if you said 85 years old. Walt Disney Productions created Pluto the Pup as Mickey Mouse’s pet dog in 1930. If you have a pet at home you know that animals communicate most often through their expressions, just like Pluto! ”Pluto's Dinosaur […]

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Girls Can Do Anything! Female STEM Pioneers

girl climbing on lava bed

March is Women's History Month, a perfect time to celebrate women's contributions to the sciences. You never know where keeping your eyes open, and a nature journal handy, will lead. Here are some female heroes beyond Marie Curie who demonstrate the power of observation and imagination. Women were not historically encouraged to pursue the sciences. The pioneering naturalists […]

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Ilene Cooper Q & A

U.S. Capital Building

Celebrate Women's History Month and get to know March's Author of the Month, Ilene Cooper, as she talks about the inspiration behind her latest book, A Woman in the House (and Senate), how she got her start in writing and her love of books. Where did you get your idea for this book? I have always been […]

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Author of the Month Ilene Cooper

Photo of author Ilene Cooper

Can you guess how many women were members of Congress for the first 128 years the United States was a country? Not one! It was not until 1917 that a woman was elected to the House of Representatives. Do you know how many serve today? A Woman in the House (and Senate), the latest from […]

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Luck o’ the Irish for Young Readers

Fuzzy green leprechaun novelty hat

"Wherever you go and whatever you do, may the luck of the Irish be there with you." - Irish blessing As the winter snows melt and the sun shines for more hours each day, we look forward to spring and festivities like St. Patrick's Day. On March 17 each year, we celebrate the people and culture of Ireland. […]

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Superhero Series Inspire Love of Reading

Child reading book

My son was a late bloomer when it came to reading on his own. He loved books, but only if Mom read to him. Then his after-school teacher gave him a book that changed our lives forever! The Adventures Of Captain Underpants awoke something in my son that no other book could—his love of reading. It […]

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Super-Real: Real-Life Heroes for Kids

I Am Malala book cover

This year's One Book, One Chicago selection asks us to look at the creation of the American superhero. But what really defines a hero? Is it someone who has a magical power? These real-life role models for kids made do with courage and ingenuity. Malala Yousafazi does not have super strength or X-ray vision, but what she does […]

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